What To Pack When Traveling With Babies & Toddlers?
When my son was only 2 months old, I took him on his first trip to Mexico, on my own, with one connecting flight and a layover that became a diaper disaster of poop everywhere. It was such a difficult journey, and a reminder – my baby was only 2 months old. I carried the stroller, the car seat, the carrier, diaper bag, passports, etc. TOTAL CATASTROPHE. I couldn’t imagine doing this again alone, and the thought that my baby would be not so baby and all this disaster again was terrifying. So I had to simplify my travels since they happened often. There was not much to do about the connecting flight since there is no direct flight to Monterrey, Mexico where I was born and raised. So here’s what I did the next time around that served me well and helped me in my future trips, including when I had two kids under 2 with connecting flight and double stroller (insane).
1. GOODBYE CARSEAT – that additional gear, was just too much! So I decided to ask a friend for one. Sometimes it is even cheap to buy or rent.
2. CHANGE OF CLOTHES – we all know it is important to carry a change of clothes for baby. But sometimes for mom, it is necessary too! Especially if your baby is sitting on your lap most of the time.
3. DISINFECTANT WIPES – These days you can never be too clean! It is a nice piece of mind to know that the entire area that both you & your child is in, has been wiped down & disinfected.
4. SNACKS – the mother of all entertainment solutions on flights. Although I am very much a fan of healthy snacks, this is the one time I give in. No one likes a screaming child on the plane.
5. FORMULA – Even though I was a breastfeeding mom, I always brought a bit of formula with me in case it was necessary to ease my baby’s hunger.
6. NOOMIE BLANKET – you cannot travel without it! It is a three in one blanket that solves space issues, especially when traveling.
7. PAJAMAS – you never know if you will be delayed. Always good to bring comfy pajamas. Sometimes I even pack pajamas instead of a change of clothing.
8. PACIFIERS – bring 10! They are never enough! They fall, and those that do you don’t want to put back in your baby’s mouth.
9. PLAYDOUGH – this is a great way to entertain toddlers! And it is something that hardly falls on the plane floor as opposed to cars and little dolls that you have to be chasing for the entire flight.
10. COLORING BOOKS – this has never been a great tool for me, but it does make 15 minutes go by, and ten crayons go missing for sure. Some very artsy toddlers can do this for longer!
11. IPAD – I know this is not ideal and we are trying to control our kid’s screen time, but on a plane, you need it. I constantly try to download games that will make them think. Simple math, letters, writing, and yes, occasionally I will let them play their favorite game; anything that will keep them relatively calm for the flight.
12. SMILE – after all you are going on a trip with your kid(s)! Yes they might scream a little, yes they might throw up and poop, but they are mine and I feel so fortunate to be able to travel with them.